Locust Bean Gum

Optimal Result: 0 - 0.8 ELISA Index.

Most food-related gums are composed of complex and variable mixtures of oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and glycoproteins with an extremely high molecular weight polysaccharide attached to a hydroxyproline-rich polypeptide backbone.

Gums have wide industrial uses, including:

Food industry - stabilizers, thickening agents, gelling agents, emulsifiers, fixing agents in foods and soft drinks

Cosmetics - stabilizers, thickening agents, gelling agents

Manufacturing - printing, textile, pottery, lithography.

Because of their high molecular weight (200-2,000 kDa), if the partially digested molecules of certain gums manage to get into the circulation, they would induce a very strong immune response that would result in high levels of IgG and/or IgA antibodies against the gum molecules.

In a study on gum reactivities, healthy subjects were evaluated for IgE and IgG immune reactivity to a set of gums used in the food industry. The gums are listed in order from most to least IgG reactive:

- carrageenan,

- mastic gum,

- locust bean gum,

- xantham gum,

- beta-glucan,

- gum tragacanth,

- guar gum.

Results of this study indicates that a significant percentage of the healthy population is not only exposed to various gum products, but immunologically reacts against them.

Cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) containing fucose and xylose exist in almost all plant extracts and thus there can be homology between repetitive polysaccharide sequences of gums with plant enzymes such as horse radish peroxidase or bromelain, pollens, trees, celery, potato, tomato, beans and pea. This finding gives substance to the concept that individuals may produce antibodies against the CCD of gums which then cross-react with many other foods and other environmental antigens.

Therefore, immune reaction to gums may play a role in autoimmune reactivity.

What does it mean if your Locust Bean Gum result is too high?

Try to remove as much Locust Bean Gum from your diet as possible. Read the ingredient list of the nutrition facts labels carefully.

Locust bean gum is often added to yogurt, cream cheese, dressings and sauces, ice cream, fruit preparations, fish products, fermented milk products, cream and infant formula.

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